Does the Navy still do shellback?
The U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard have well-established line-crossing rituals. Sailors who have already crossed the Equator are nicknamed Shellbacks, Trusty Shellbacks, Honorable Shellbacks, or Sons of Neptune. Those who have not crossed are nicknamed Pollywogs, or Slimy Pollywogs, or sometimes simply Slimy Wogs.
What is a shellback in the U.S. Navy?
The shellback is simple enough: a sailor on official duty “crosses the line” of the equator. A golden shellback is more impressive; it means they’ve crossed the International Date Line. Even rarer, crossing at the Prime Meridian grants you access into the Order of the Emerald Shellback.
What are the different Shellbacks?
There are the Pollywogs (sailors who have not crossed the equator), the trusty Shellbacks (sailors who have crossed the equator), King Neptune (highest ranking Shellback), and his royal court.
Why is it called a Shellback?
A Time-Honored Tradition The ceremony observes a mariner’s transformation from slimy Pollywog, a seaman who hasn’t crossed the equator, to trusty Shellback, also called a Son or Daughter of Neptune. It was a way for sailors to be tested for their seaworthiness.
What does it mean to be a Shellback?
Definition of shellback 1 : an old or veteran sailor. 2 : a person who has crossed the equator and been initiated in the traditional ceremony.
What is a shellback tattoo?
Like a ship at full mast, a shellback tattoo showed a sailor’s experience at sea. Once a sailor crossed the equator, he earned the right to get a turtle inked on his body. The longer someone had spent at sea, the more tattoos they could show off.
What is a Shellback initiation?
The ritual dates back at least 400 years in Western seafaring. The ceremony observes a mariner’s transformation from slimy Pollywog, a seaman who hasn’t crossed the equator, to trusty Shellback, also called a Son or Daughter of Neptune. It was a way for sailors to be tested for their seaworthiness.
Why do the Navy wear bell bottoms?
The trouser material is made of cotton fibers that swell when wet and can hold air. In the event of a sailor falling overboard or having to abandon ship without a life vest, the bell-bottomed trousers can be quickly removed in the water without having to remove footwear.